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The Palm Beach Law Blog - Specializing in family and marital law.

July 3, 2012

Child Support Modification in Florida

Child Support Modification in FloridaPeople often assume that child support orders are final and that they cannot be changed.  The truth is that situations change and court orders can change as well.  Courts will modify child support orders for a number of reasons and they can be either temporary or permanent. Before you contact a child support attorney in Florida, review these circumstances that may change child support payments:

1. A short-term financial hardship suffered by the payer, for example, could be the reason why the court might grant a temporary reduction or suspension of payments until the payer gets back on his/her feet.

2. A medical emergency, illness or injury of the child could prompt the courts to temporarily increase support payments.  Likewise, illness or injury of the recipient parent could be a reason for a short-term increase in child support payments

Permanent modifications to child support require a substantial change in the long term of either the paying parent, the recipient parent or the child.   These circumstances could include:

1. A considerable change in income of either parent for involuntary reasons;

2. An increase or decrease in child rearing costs such as daycare costs or health insurance.

3. Change in the child’s age.  It is more expensive to raise a 16 year old than a 2 year old.

4. A substantial increase in the cost of living.

5. A permanent disability suffered by either the paying or recipient parent.

In all of these situations, the court may modify the order.  You can’t just stop paying child support or pay less than the original court order.  It is important to seek the legal advice of a child support lawyer in West Palm Beach and file a motion with the court so that a new order can be issued.   You will need to prove the circumstances, so be prepared to bring the appropriate documents to support your claim